Why Visa chose Poland as site of first technology and product hub in CEE

Visa says that Poland’s highly skilled workforce and vibrant IT sector make it an ideal location to recruit and collaborate with partners and businesses to develop new payment solutions.

Global payment firm Visa announced plans on May 23 to open a new global technology and product hub in Poland.

It is the first hub of its kind for Visa in Central and Eastern Europe.

The hub will house as many as 1,500 new tech and product hires over the next few years, as Visa invests worldwide to support its 24/7 development model for innovation and drives continued rapid growth in digital commerce and payments.

Visa’s investment follows the opening in April of software giant Microsoft’s newest trusted cloud region, the first in Central and Eastern Europe, at three independent physical locations around the Polish capital, Warsaw.

“Poland’s highly skilled workforce and vibrant IT sector make it an ideal location for us to recruit and collaborate with partners and businesses to develop new payment solutions,” says Rajat Taneja, president, technology, Visa.

“The next wave of our product and innovation roadmap is even more exciting as we focus on the next generation of AI, cybersecurity and the resilience and availability of our network for all who depend on it.”

Poland will serve as Visa’s fifth major strategic global technology and product hub.

As a growing location for top technology talent, it builds on Visa’s commitment to innovation and investment in the European region, and in Poland, in particular. 

Visa says that it will find new ways to harness emerging talent in the region, accelerate product development and innovate at scale to bring value to consumers, clients, buyers and sellers around the world.

“As a global company that does business in more than 200 countries and territories, it is important to us to invest in local talent, creating regional tech hubs that allow us to serve our global customer base better than ever before,” says Charlotte Hogg, CEO, Visa, Europe.

“We are committed to diversity and inclusion and ensuring that as Visa grows, it reflects the wide range of perspectives that make up the communities where we live and work. In Poland, this will mean bringing on board a diverse talent pool and welcoming talent from Ukraine and other parts of the region.”

The region’s talent leader

The announcement is a boost for Poland’s IT sector, and confirmation of its status as a technology powerhouse. The country ranked third in Emerging Europe’s latest IT Competitiveness Index, taking first place in the talent component.

The IT sector’s contribution to the Polish economy has been steadily increasing in recent years, with IT exports as a share of GDP rising to 1.57 per cent in 2020 and 1.71 per cent in 2021.

“It is exceptionally good news that Visa, with its unique global experience and know-how, has chosen our country out of all possible locations, thus building Poland’s position as the best place for investments in the new technology sector,” says Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.

“Some of the factors that pointed to Poland as a location for this investment were the high qualifications of our IT staff and the significant pool of talent on the labour market. We have great potential to bring highly innovative investments to our country.”

Visa has been operating in Poland since 1995. The first payment card in Poland was a Visa card and the country was the first market in the world to achieve 100 per cent contactless availability.

Visa says that it recognises the critical role that digital skills play in the modern economy and is committed to supporting the EU’s efforts to build a more competitive and digitally savvy workforce. 

“This investment underscores Visa’s pledge to promote digital inclusion and empower individuals to thrive in the digital age,” the firm adds.

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